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## 2002

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## 2003\4

Articles

Rhododendrons colours:

index

white

orange

yellow

Rhododendron George's Delight - a nice flower with a mix of colours - yellow, pink and orange.

Rhododendron 'Double Winner' a strigilosum hybrid with hairy leaves and stems - has bright red flowers

Rhododendrons colours:

pink

red

blue

species

other topics        rhododendron photo review

Photography

My (ex)-gardens 'Park der Gärten' Germany ASA Convention 2003 Flowershow ARS Dutch Rhodo. Society
Kalmia latifolia "Indian Summer" in Maine wildflowers Costa Blanca Bernhard Knorr rhodo's Hans Hachmann Rhodo's Joe Klimavic azaleas
decidiuous azalea cross with seeds from Fred Minch, USA

Rhodoland
General information

'Ida Bradour' an example of a large leaved Rhododendron

       The word Rhododendron is from Greek origin - the word 'Rhodo' means Rose, the word 'Dendron' means tree,so together  'Rose tree'. They belong to the genus Rhododendron, as the Azaleas. This genus belongs to the family of the Ericaceae to which also belong the heathers Calluna and Erica, and f.i. Gaultheria and Vaccinium etc. It is a very large family of which the genus Rhododendron consists of about 1.000, yes about one thousand species. The origin of most of them is Asia, China, Japan and Korea, but also the Caucasus (R. caucasicum) and Asia Minor, (R. smirnovii). In the Swiss and Austrian Alps we find the species R. ferrugineum and R. hirsutum
And in North-America, most in the USA, .there are alo some Rhododendron, like the R. catawbiense on the east coast and the R. macrophyllum on the west coast. . Also a number of fine native Azaleas, like R. occidentale on the west coast and many others more on the (south)east side of the USA. Examples are R. arborescens, R. calendulaceum and R. atlanticum. Many are fragrant, also the hybrids. More and more they are getting the attention they deserve. 

'Point Defiance'  large leaved Rhododendron

R. rigidum var. alba, species with lepidote, scaly,  leaves

       The Rhododendrons we see and plant in our gardens are mostly hybrids, bred out of the original species. This hybridizing work started mainly in Europe, first in England, later also in Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands. English, but also Dutch, French and German planthunters introduced many species from Asia to Europe. Names as George Forrest and Frank Kingdon Ward and many others should be honoured for their contribution! Many plant lovers hybridized with them since the end of the 18th century and introduced thousands of new hybrids. Later also American hybridizers brought many new hybrids into trade and still do with excellent new introductions. 
Meanwhile there are at least more than 20.000 named hybrids, of which most are no longer in trade. Fortunately! We have lost survey of all of them. 
I myself have my own -modest- share in this, hybridizing and introducing some of my best in the years to come.   

   'Anchorite' example of an evergreen azalea

another example of a deciduous azalea


Division

       Classification of the genus Rhododendron is an extremely difficult issue. Scientists are still not certain about the right  'division' in series and species etc. For easy of survay we can divide the genus Rhododendron in 4 main groups, of which you find some images and short dexcriptions:

Large leaved Rhododendron:

'Bonito' a large leaved late flowering rhododendron 'Rexima' large leaved cross between R. yakushimanum and R. rex - with thick indumentum 'Halfdan Lem' a large leaved rhodo

       The large leaved species and hybrids have mostly also large flowers, that's clear. These species and hybrids we call 'elepidote', which means that they have no scales on the underside of their leaves. There are even species with very long leaves, up to 3 feet, like R. macabeanum and R. sinogrande. They can be grown in mild climates as in west Scotland. Some species like R. yakushimanum have a sort of thick wooly felt on the underside of the leaves. We call this felt 'Indumentum'. It is ment for protection from frost and heat. 

Small leaved Rhododendron:

R. cinnabarinum Var. blandfordiiflorum a scaly, lepidote rhodo 'Black Satin' a lepidote rhodo with dark leaves in winter 'Medley'  a  R. ambinuum cross from Hachmann in Germany

       We call the small leaved Rhododendron 'lepidote'; they have small scales  on the underside of the leaves. You can smell the leaves by crushing them. Walking through a greenhouse with some R. concinnum you can smell a very nice aromatic odeur. The flowers are also smaller than those of the elepidote Rhododendron.  Many species of this group have lilac, pink or blue flowers, that's why some people call them 'the small blues'. Some of them have variable colours, like R. augustinii with pink, lilac, blue or almost white flowers. Though many lepidote species are low growing, or even creeping like R. keiskei Var. cordifolia, some can grow quite tall,  up to 10 feet., like R. augustinii or R. concinnum. I have a quite special species in my garden, R. cinnabarinum Var. blandfordiiflorum, which is already about 7 feet and has nice yellow-orange tubular flowers. 

Evergreen Azaleas

'Komo Kulshan' a nice evergreen azalea with bicolor flowers 'Sunglow' bears deservedly this name 'Meiko' a so called Satsuki azalea with flecks on  a white flower

      The group of evergreen azales has now also some thousands of named hybrids and every year many more are introduced. They have small leaves up to 2 inches and mostly small flowers. In wintertime most of the spring leaves drop off and the summer leaves remain. With heavy frost even many of them drop off. Then they need protection from cold and dry winds. Some varieties have nice bronze red leaves in winter, making a nice contrast with some snow. Others like  'Haru no Sono' a Satsuki azalea, have fine dark green glowing leaves. Satsuki azaleas are from Japan, bred for their patterns of striped and flecked flowers. 
There are no really yellow or orange flowers in this group, but some hybridizers are working on it........

Deciduous azaleas:

'Robert Koch' a nice orange deciduous azalea from Germany 'Jerry's Find' from the USA, a magnificent full truss azalea 'Schneegold' a new hybrid from Hachmann in Germany

      Deciduous azaleas loose their leaves in fall and so in winter they are bare. Some have nice flower buds. Last 2 centuries many hybridizers, in the beginning especcially Belgians, created many fine new hybrids out of the original species from Asia and America. Some with double and fragrant flowers. Nowadays  American and some German hybridizers are trying to get more fine hybrids, involving the native azaleas in the USA. Many plants have very nice fall colours of almost red, bronze, orange and yellow leaves. They have many bright colours, also real yellow and orange. Most are frost hardy, some groups even to - 35F, -40C. 

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